As Bad As It Seems

Guest Post by Aaron Ledesma, Aspiring PR Professional

Do you ever find yourself sitting in the back of a room? Watching? Observing? Thinking? Does anyone take a second to freeze time and look around him or her? No. We don’t.

Perhaps the reason is because we are always caught up in our personal lives. We often forget to be mindful of ourselves, of others, and everything around us. I’m not innocent. I too get lost in my life and forget to take a moment and breath.

Coming into this semester I was very down. Christmas break did not bring everything I had hoped it would. A friendship was lost. Probably one of the most important friendships I have had up until this point in my life.

Coming into this class I was not prepared. I was expecting “Ethical Problems in Mass Communications.” What I got was different. What I got was a tool that can help me succeed in all walks of life. Mindfulness.

When I think of the word mindfulness I think it means to be sound mind. This is the state of being healthy in various aspect of the mind: mentally and spiritually healthy. With this in mind, I cannot say I know many people who are truly mindful. I realize we learned about mindfulness in relation to the communications arena, but it is beneficial in our every day lives.

We never take time and step out of our shoes and look around. College students are constantly doing different things. It is easy for one of us to complain about how small our room is, or how that test was hard, or how we did not get a snow day. Do we ever try to look at everything that is going on around us?

One routine I have is to walk around campus while listening to music. While this can be a tactic to be anti-social, it can also be an opportunity to observe more of my community. If others tried being more observing and mindful, they would see that there is a lot more going on than his or her petty complaints.

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 4.16.43 PMHave you ever noticed the person begging for money so he or she can get a bus ride home? Have you seen that woman holding a sign that she is hungry? Have you heard that man preach about his religious beliefs? Have you noticed the sadness that many in our community have that are not from the same backgrounds as us? – I’m guessing that is a no.

I believe one aspect of being mindful is being aware, or awake to the world. I challenge our students to look around and see how great they have got it. We walk by less fortunate people every day and do not even acknowledge his or her existence.

Jon Kabat-Zinn talks about generosity, “practice sharing the fullness of your being, your best self, your enthusiasm, your vitality, your spirit, your trust, your openness, above all your presence. Share it with yourself, with your family, with the world. If one becomes mindful of the self, then they should continue the path of becoming mindful of others.

Our lives are not that bad. Nothing is as bad as it seems. This goes back to what I was saying at the beginning. I came back this semester upset about things in my life, and I have the right to be. I’m not suggesting our personal lives are not important, I’m saying we should realize others have it worse.

I lost a friendship. It is sad. But that man at the bus stop does not have anyone. No one cares who he is. When students walk by him every day no one acknowledges him because he or she is worried he will ask for money.

Our world should be more mindful in a variety of areas and topics. One important one to remember is being mindful of others, especially if our class is the future of the communications world.

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 4.17.03 PMWe are not alone in the world. We have a duty in life to respect our neighbors and treat them how we would want to be treated. People should realize that we are very fortunate to be who we are and to have the lives that we have. At the end of the day we should be grateful and remember to do our part in helping those less fortunate in anyway possible.

Money is not always the answer. Sometimes, a simple smile can change a person’s day. Be mindful.

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One thought on “As Bad As It Seems

  1. Reblogged this on Information Ethics Report and commented:
    Following is a guest post from Aaron Ledesma, a student in Marquette University’s media ethics class this semester. He offers some wonderful advice on being mindful; that is, thoughtfully aware of your own existence and the existences of others.

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